The Number One Tip For First Date Sparks

Updated April 6, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Whether you are looking for your first serious relationship or you are getting back on the dating horse after a long-term relationship has ended, the first date with someone new can be nerve-racking. You likely want to make sure you give a good first impression while also trying to get to know this new person and see if you are compatible. This can seem tricky, but with the right first date tips you can get through to the next level. The biggest key to having a successful first date may be for you to be your most honest and true self. When you approach a date with honesty and sincerity, you can have a much better chance of moving on to a second or third date. Below are some of the best tips for a first date that can help you form a meaningful, genuine bond with someone new.

Need advice for your first date?

Wear something comfortable

You might think that for a first date you want to go all out with special date attire. However, the date may proceed more smoothly if you are comfortable both physically and emotionally. Make sure that the clothes you choose are comfortable and a true expression of your own personal style.

Have a positive mindset

It can be easy to think of a first date as yet another in a long line of first dates that lead nowhere. If you have been on the dating scene for a long time, it can be hard to remain positive and keep believing that you are going to meet that special someone. But don’t let these thoughts invade your mind while you are on your first date. Make sure that you have a positive, nonjudgmental mindset from the beginning of the date.

Have open body language

If you are nervous about your first date, you might automatically close up physically. Having this closed off body language can turn off your date and make them feel as though you are not having a good time. Make sure to keep your body language open and inviting.

Compliment your date

Compliments can make most people feel good. If your date says or does something worthy of it, don't be afraid to drop a compliment or two their direction. You may also want to make sure that you are complimenting them on things that they choose, such as their clothing or their behavior rather than something they were born with like their eyes or hair.


Mirroring each other’s movements can be a great way for you and your date to feel more comfortable. Some people may mirror without thinking about it, such as taking a drink when your date takes a drink. Doing these little things as a mirror image of your date may help put both of you at ease.

Admit to being nervous

If you are nervous, it can be okay to say so. In fact, you may even want to tell your date that you are nervous. People may act and react differently when they are nervous. It can be important that your date knows how you feel so that they can interpret your words and actions in that context. They may also be more likely to tell what puts you at ease.

Chat about your favorite things

When you are passionate about something it can make you much more attractive to the other person. You can both learn a lot about each other if you talk about your favorite things. Don't dominate the conversation though; your date's favorite things can also be important.

Ask questions

It may be a good idea to think of what to talk about on a first date and be ready with questions to ask. Asking questions may show interest, but it can also mean much more than that. When you ask a lot of questions, it can show that you are listening and are really interested in what they have to say. When you intersperse questions with your own take on the subject or your own experiences, you may open the window to more meaningful conversation.

Don't bring up your ex

If you want to have a successful first date, try not to bring up your ex right off the bat. Although it might be on the forefront of your mind to make sure that you are not out on a date with someone like your past failed relationships, you still might not want to talk about it with someone you barely know. You should likely also avoid talking badly about your family, friends, or acquaintances. After all, if you talk badly about all those people to an essential stranger, what might you say about them when the date is over?

Stay away from controversy

When you are getting to know someone better, you may want to know everything about them, including their worldview. Yet when you are just starting this process, it may be best to stay away from controversial topics. When out on the first or second date, you should likely avoid topics such as politics and religion. See if you two are compatible in other ways before throwing these controversial topics into the mix.


First date tips: Before the date

It can be important that you prepare yourself for your first date so that you may be ready to make the most of it. This may be especially true if the first date is one where you feel there could be additional dates and you are looking for a long-term relationship.


Look at yourself in a different light and explore yourself and what you are looking for in a partner. This can be done in several ways, but if you are not good at being honest with yourself about your traits and your past, you might need some help. Self-exploration can often be made easier with the guidance of a licensed therapist.

Let go of defensive filters

Most people see things through a filter based on their past experiences, and the same may be true of dating. When you go on a first date, it may be easy to look at that person and their behavior through the filter of what you experienced in past relationships. However, it may be important to remember that this can be an entirely new experience with a new person, and you don't need to be on guard. Instead, be open to getting to know someone new.

Acknowledge past experiences

At the same time, it can be helpful to acknowledge past experiences. When you acknowledge the past and examine it closely, you may acquire valuable insight as to what you want out of your next relationship. You can then use this information to judge compatibility and interest when you are out on your first date with someone new.

Be aware of attraction to familiarity

Psychologically speaking, most people are attracted to what is familiar. Unfortunately, if you have been in a bad relationship in the past, what is familiar may not necessarily be what is good for you. Be aware of feelings of familiarity, and make sure that you do not mistake them for genuine interest.

Dating do's and don'ts

Relationship experts and psychologists have some ideas of what you should do while you are dating. The behaviors and reactions that you display during a date often say a lot about you and the person you are on a date with. There are some things that you probably should not do on a date, and there are some things that you definitely should do to see if you are compatible.

Don’t: Limit yourself to one type of partner

Don't convince yourself that you only have one type and that everyone you date must match that type. Instead, try to be open minded and allow yourself to be interested in different people. It may be that the "type" you are interested in might also be the type to hurt or clash with you over time.

Don't: Be overly critical

It can be easy to be overly critical, especially when meeting someone for the first time or seeing someone socially for the first time. Instead of being judgmental, try to come into the date with an open mind and with the ability to dismiss unimportant details that may not be ideal but are not deal breakers.

Do: Talk about yourself, but keep it present

It can of course be important to talk about yourself because the point of the date is likely to get to know each other better. But you may want to limit this type of discussion to the present. Dwelling on past relationships or experiences can leave your date wondering why you’ve decided to go out with them in the first place. You’re there to make new connections and experiences, after all.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
Need advice for your first date?

Do: Get some outside help

Preparing for a first date can be tricky, and if you feel unequipped to navigate it on your own, then it may be time to seek professional help. A professional, such as a therapist, may be better equipped to give more practical advice and help ensure that your first date is not only hassle-free, but also the beginning of a glorious relationship. 

If you want to try out therapy, however, it may be best to opt for online therapy. Not only can it be far more affordable, but it can also give you connection to a more diverse pool of therapists. 

A good therapist can help you think clearly about yourself and the events occurring around you, essentially to be end of helping you understand yourself better. Studies show that better appreciation of who you are as a person, which can be reached through therapy, can be essential for a healthy and satisfactory relationship. And since online therapy may be just as effective as physical, in-person therapy, then it may be a great bonus indeed to explore that option. 


The best way to ensure a first date goes well may be to prepare ahead of time, try to be yourself, and communicate openly with your date. Keeping your mind open to new experiences and remembering that a date doesn’t have to be perfect can likewise help you decide whether you want to continue seeing a person or if it’s time to move on to someone new.

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